Allied Warships

HMS Simoom (P 225)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
PennantP 225 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered2 Sep 1940 
Laid down14 Jul 1941 
Launched12 Oct 1942 
Commissioned30 Dec 1942 
LostNov 1943 
History

HMS Simoom (Lt. Geoffrey Deryck Nicholson Milner, DSC, RN) sailed from Port Said, Egypt on 2 November 1943 for the Aegean. She was to arrive off the Dardanelles on 6th. Possibly lost on 4 November off Donoussa island, Cyclades, Greece in a newly laid German minefield.

 
Former nameP 75

Commands listed for HMS Simoom (P 225)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Christopher Henry Rankin, RN24 Oct 194215 Apr 1943
2Lt. Geoffrey Deryck Nicholson Milner, DSC, RN15 Apr 1943Nov 1943

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Simoom include:


The history of HMS Simoom as compiled on this page is extracted from the patrol reports and logbooks of this submarine. Corrections and details regarding information from the enemy's side (for instance the composition of convoys attacked) are kindly provided by Mr. Platon Alexiades, a naval researcher from Canada.

This page was last updated in August 2014.

27 Dec 1942
HMS P 225 (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) departed her builders yard for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Ayrshire (T/Lt. R.W.H. Elsden, RNVR). (1)

28 Dec 1942
HMS P 225 (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

23 Jan 1943
HMS P 225 (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) departed Holy Loch for Scapa Flow. She made the passage together with HMS P 53 (Lt. G.E. Hunt, RN). They were escorted by HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR). (2)

24 Jan 1943
HMS P 225 (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow where she was to participate in A/S exercises. (2)

9 Feb 1943
HMS P 225 (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Lerwick. (3)

15 Feb 1943
HMS P 225 (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) was now named HMS Simoom.

On this day she departed Lerwick for her 1st war patrol. She was to patrol off Northern Norway to provide cover for convoy operations to and from Northern Russia.

For the daily positions of HMS Simoom during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Simoom 1st war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

11 Mar 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick. (4)

12 Mar 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS Tuna (Lt. R.P. Raikes, RN) and HMS Sportsman (Lt. R. Gatehouse, DSC, RN) escorted by the Norwegian HNoMS King Haakon VII. (5)

14 Mar 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (5)

25 Mar 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) was docked at Kames Bay. (5)

26 Mar 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) was undocked. (5)

28 Mar 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) was docked at Rosneath. (5)

29 Mar 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) was undocked. (5)

29 Apr 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) was docked at Kames Bay for a propeller change. She was undocked later the same day and departed the Clyde area for Gibraltar. The passage through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS Unsparing (Lt. A.D. Piper, DSC and 2 bars, RD, RNR). They were escorted, until about 1800 hours/1 May, by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR).

En-route to Gibraltar she was to patrol in the Bay of Biscay making this passage her 2nd war patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS Simoom during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Simoom 2nd war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

15 May 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (4)

19 May 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Algiers.

For the daily positions of HMS Simoom during this passage see the map below.


HMS Simoom passage Gibraltar - Algiers click here for bigger map (6)

24 May 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) arrived at Algiers. (6)

2 Jun 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Algiers together with HMS Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN) (7)

4 Jun 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the West coasts of Corsica and Sardinia.

For the daily positions of HMS Simoom during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Simoom 3rd war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

17 Jun 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. No shipping had been seen, only a few aircraft were seen patrolling the area. (4)

28 Jun 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Tyrrhenean Sea to provide cover for Operation Husky, the Allied landings in Sicily.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Simoom during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Simoom 4th war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

13 Jul 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) attacked an enemy convoy with four torpedoes to the North-West of Isola del Giglio. No hits were obtained.

This attack appears to have been unobserved. One possibility is that it was carried out on a convoy formed by the Italian merchant Tigrai (1272 GRT, built 1918) and the Italian tanker Romagna (1427 GRT, built 1910) escorted by the German minesweepers R 6 and R 16 on passage from La Maddalena to Leghorn but we have insufficient data to confirm it.

(All times are zone -2)
0138 hours - Sighted a convoy of two merchant vessels of 5000 and 3000 tons. Also a radar contact was obtained. Bearing was 170°, range was 8000 yards, enemy course was 030°.

0144 hours - Dived however the upper hatch could only just be shut on time. The lower hatch was closed by the crew to prevent water coming in. As the Commanding Officer now was in the conning tower and the lower hatch now had to be opened again the attack now had to be carried out from a less favourable position. The range could not be closed and the targets could not be seen through the periscope.

0154 hours - Surfaced. Sighted the targets again.

0200 hours - In position 42°29'N, 10°46'E fired four torpedoes at the second merchant ship which was the largest. Range was 3000 yards. A destroyer was sighted as the last torpedo was fired so Simoom dived. No explosions were heard and no counter attack followed. (4)

15 Jul 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) attacked a tug with gunfire North-North-West of Porto Santo Stefano. Several hits were obtained and the tug slowed down but then two aircraft forced Simoom to break off the action and dive.

According to Italian sources this was the tug Robusto (389 GRT, built 1939) on passage from Portoferraio to Civitavecchia. She was hit on the starboard side but suffered no casualties.

(All times are zone -2)
1440 hours - Sighted smoke to the Northward and shortly afterwards sighted a tall funnel of a small ship that was coast crawling. Closed to investigate. After a while the target was identified as a salvage tug of about 200 tons.

1545 hours - Surfaced in position 42°31'N, 11°04'E for gun action. 24 Rounds were fired from about 2000 yards. The fourth round was a hit. The tug turned away and made off at a remarkable speed. Four more hits were obtained. Also one pan of Oerlikon was fired. The tug turned to starboard and slowed down but then two aircraft were sighted and Simoom was forced to dive to safety.

1548 hours - Dived. Upon diving shore batteries opened fire but it could not be seen from which direction. Shortly afterwards several depth charges were dropped by the aircraft. Simoom cleared the area. (4)

22 Jul 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (4)

24 Jul 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) was docked at Algiers. (8)

26 Jul 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) was undocked. (8)

4 Aug 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Simoom during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Simoom 5th war patrol click here for bigger map

8 Aug 1943
While on patrol east of Bastia, HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) fires three torpedoes at what is identified as 'a merchant' of about 2500 tons off Bastia, Corsica, France. All torpedoes missed their target.

According to Italian sources this was however the Italian naval auxiliary Capitano Sauro (194 GRT, built 1908). Lt. Milner overestimated her size.

(All times are zone -2)
1120 hours - Sighted a 2500 tons merchant vessel with an E-boat escort. Started attack. Enemy course was 247°, speed 9 knots.

1142 hours - In position 42°40'N, 09°33'E fired 3 torpedoes. No hits were obtained.

1144 hours - 5 Depth charges were dropped fairly close. Went to 350 feet.

1146 to 1154 hours - 21 Depth charges were dropped but these were further away.

The E-boat may have been the Italian Vas 203 which operated in the area. The Italian corvettes Folaga and Danaide sailed from Bastia to hunt the submarine but with negative results. (4)

9 Aug 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) attacked the Italian cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi about 5 nautical miles South-South-West of Levanto, Italy in position 44°04'N, 09°32'E. The torpedoes missed the cruiser but hit and sank the destroyer Vincenzo Gioberti (1685 tons) instead. According to Italian sources 9 officers and 162 ratings were picked up, 4 officers were missing.

(All times are zone -2)
1815 hours - The Officer of the Watch (Lt. G.E.L.F. Edsell, RN) sighted a destroyer close inshore. The funnel and bridge only were showing against the background of the Cliffs. Its camouflage was extremely effective against this background. Shortly afterwards two more destroyers were sighted and these were followed by two cruisers. All ships were camouflaged. They were very close inshore and proceeding Northwards. Unfortunately they were out of range for a torpedo attack.

1817 hours - The leading destroyer altered 80° towards. Started attack as it seemed likely that the other ships would soon follow, which was indeed the case.

1825 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes. Upon firing Simoom lost depth control and in order not the break surface had to take in water. She did not broach but now ended up at 280 feet. Three explosions were heard of which two were definate torpedo explosions.

1829 hours - The first pattern of depth charges was dropped, 6 in total.

1832 hours - 6 more depth charges were dropped.

1915 hours - Simoom was now 'very heavy' and lost depth control again. She ended up at 480 feet. Control was regained and after a while she went to 350 feet.

2115 hours - HE from the last destroyer faded out astern.

2200 hours - Came to 200 feet. Later went to 90 feet and regained normal trim.

2238 hours - Surfaced and cleared the area.

The task force attacked was made up of the Italian light cruisers D'Aosta, Garibaldi, Carabiniere, Mitragliere, Gioberti. (4)

13 Aug 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) was recalled from patrol and ordered to return to Algiers. (4)

18 Aug 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (4)

30 Aug 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Algiers. (9)

3 Sep 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was to act as a beacon during the Allied landings at Salerno, Italy.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Simoom during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Simoom 6th war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

8 Sep 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) arrived in the position where she was to act as a beacon but her services were not required. (4)

12 Sep 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) was ordered to leave her position and to proceed towards Bastia, Corsica for a short patrol in that area. (4)

15 Sep 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) attacked the German transport KT 11 (834 GRT, built 1943) in a convoy North-West of San Vincenzo, Italy. Both torpedoes missed.

(All times are zone -2)
1335 hours - Sighted a convoy of one transport barge, one KT ship, one very small armed merchant ship of about 200 tons, two heavily armed motor drifters and one armed motor boat. Started attack on the KT ship.

1454 hours - In position 43°09'N, 10°29'E fired two torpedoes at the KT ship. One ran 30° to the right. The other one passed close astern of the target. The convoy retired towards the shore in great confusion. No counter attack followed. (4)

21 Sep 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (4)

3 Oct 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for Malta.

As no log is available for October 1943 no map of this passage can be displayed. (10)

6 Oct 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta. (10)

7 Oct 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Malta for Beirut.

As no log is available for October 1943 no map of this passage can be displayed. (10)

12 Oct 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) arrived at Beirut. (10)

14 Oct 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Beirut for Haifa.

As no log is available for October 1943 no map of this passage can be displayed. (10)

15 Oct 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) arrived at Haifa. She was immediately docked for bottom scraping and painting. (11)

16 Oct 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) was undocked at Haifa. She departed for Port Said later the same day.

As no log is available for October 1943 no map of this passage can be displayed. (11)

17 Oct 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) arrived at Port Said for repairs to her battery. (11)

2 Nov 1943
HMS Simoom (Lt. G.D.N. Milner, DSC, RN) departed Port Said for 7th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol between Naxos and Mikonos, Greece. At 1142B/2 she reported that she did not hold the letter coordinates for November and would use those of October. This prompted Captain S.1 to communicate them the following evening.

On the 5th she was ordered to patrol off the Dardanelles, five nautical miles west of Tenedos.

On the 13th she was ordered to leave her patrol area PM on the 15th passing between Psara and Khios, through 35°06'N, 26°44'E and then on the surface from 34°25'N, 29°59' E. She was due in Beirut at 0901B/20 but this was later corrected to the 19th.

Simoom did not show up at Beirut. She was declared overdue on 23 November 1943.

At 1729 hours, on 15 November, the German submarine U-565 (KL Fritz Henning) fired a single stern torpedo from 2000 metres at a target described as “probably a submarine” on course 250°, one hit was heard after 3 minutes and 48 seconds. The position recorded was Quadrat CO 3381 (36°51'N, 27°22'E or off the east coast of Kos) and it is unlikely that HMS Simoom was in the area. Post-war analysis concluded that she was probably mined on 4 November 1943 on a new minefield laid off Donoussa Island (ca. 37°06'N, 25°50'E). (4)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17470
  2. ADM 173/17916
  3. ADM 173/18080
  4. ADM 199/1881
  5. ADM 173/18081
  6. ADM 173/18083
  7. ADM 173/18084
  8. ADM 173/18085
  9. ADM 173/18086
  10. ADM 199/2570
  11. ADM 199/1916

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


Return to the Allied Warships section